This round-up shows some of the outstanding events of the year 1970 which marked the turn of a decade in the progress and development of Africa.
This round-up shows some of the outstanding events of the year 1970 which marked the turn of a decade in the progress and development of Africa. It includes the following:
The end of the war in Nigeria; the beginning of the way back to a unified nation faced with the tremendous task of solving the problems of starvation and suffering.
The sixth Summit Meeting of the Afro-Malagasy Common Market welcomed the membership of Mauritius; Major Ngouabi was sworn in as President of the newly named Congo People's Republic. Seventeen African countries celebrated 10 years of independence.
The feud between the two Congo Republics was resolved. In Mozambique, the Cabora Bassa Dam project unleashed a tide of political trouble with bitter fighting between Frelimo forces and Portuguese troops. President Banda welcomed South African Prime Minister John Vorster to Malawi. The new Republic of Rhodesia was officially born. Civilian rule was fully established in Ghana as Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo became President.
Aid and technical assistance from the People's Republic of China spurred on work on new deepwater berths in Dar-es-Salaam harbour. The work was directly linked with the construction of the Tanzanian-Zambian Railway. Kenya's Kipchoge Keino set a new Commonwealth Games 1,500 metres record in Edinburgh.
The British Government's consideration of resuming arms sales to South Africa was a major issue in Africa. There were demonstrations in London and, in particulars, in the Zambian capital. President Mobutu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo went to the United States for talks with President Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers.
In Lusaka representatives of more than 60 nations attended the largest Non-Aligned Nations Summit Meeting. Chairman President Kaunda was entrusted with the task of dissuading Western nations from supporting white minority governments. Mr. Heath assured African leaders there was nothing racial in British policy. President Kaunda went to the United Nations and spoke out forcefully on the subjects of arms sales and apartheid.
President Nasser of the United Arab Republic died. Mr. Anwar Sadat became the new President of the U.A.R. A new triumvirate of U.A.R., Libya and Sudan was formed. Emperor Haile Selassie celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his Coronation. In Abidjan, the Ivory Coast Democratic Party's Fifth Congress was held. Expansion and progress in Ivory Coast were a reflection of the development scene throughout Africa. In Kenya the Mount Margaret (now Longonot) Satellite Receiving Station began operating, providing direct links to an area extending from Britain to Japan.
There is speech, natural or effects sound throughout the film.
SYNOPSIS: General Gowon, Nigerian Head of State, at this touching occasion prepared to accept the formal statement of surrender from General Effiong.
The fighting was ended. The bloodshed of arms, over. But though peace had returned to a troubled land the desperate battle to end the untold suffering continued, as it would for many months. The young, the innocent, starved and diseased now had undivided help in their personal struggle for life. A new year - a new decades had began. From the tragedy of a war a new start was made. 1970 was to be a year of great significance to all Africa - a year of strength through unity. In Cameroun was held the sixth summit conference of the Afro-Malagasy Common Organisation (OCAM). At the Yaounde meeting yet another expression of African brotherhood was revealed.
Another letter "M" was added to the organisation's title when it welcomed as a member the former British colony of Mauritius. Mauritius became the 15th member of the club with 13 French-speaking African countries and Madagascar. OCAMM, now with two "M"'s, grew considerably in stature during 1970 as an economic and cultural organisation with a bold and profitable future.
Development and stability were the key words of Africa as the new decade was born. In Brazzaville Major Ngouabi prepared to take the oath as President of the newly-named Congo People's Republic which was formerly the Republic of the Congo. At his swearing-in President Ngouabi pledged "fidelity to the Congolese people, to the revolution and the Congolese Labour Party". He also vowed to be guided by the principle of Marxist-Leninism.
For much of Africa the new decade ushered in a time of hope, development and unified strength. The Third World made itself heard and was growing strongly. Ten years of independence had not been wasted.
Here in Senegal a spectacular parade embodied the spirit of brother nations. Seventeen countries celebrated their first decade of self government in 1970. It was a proud time for not only Senegal, but also for Cameroun, Togo, Mali, Malagasy, Somalia, Dahomey, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central African Republic, both Congo Republics, Gabon, Nigeria and Mauritania.
Another cause for celebration during the year was the ending of the feud between Congo-Kinshasa and Congo-Brazzaville. Presidents Mobutu and Ngouabi were reconciled aboard a boat on the River Congo. Presidents Bokassa, Bongo and Tombalbaye were also present at the dramatic end of several years of enmity. On both banks of the Congo the crowds were wild with delight.
The prospects of harnessing massive natural power in Mozambique, did not, however, delight many African. The Cabora Bassa Dam, costing 360 million dollars, from its very conception unleashed a tide of political troubles. Even as work started, the Mozambique Liberation Front quickly showed its disapproval. Threats by the Front led to the withdrawal of a giant electrical concern from the project. Opposition to the vast programme was mainly based on the argument that when completed it would supply cheap electricity to South Africa and provide Rhodesia with an invaluable outlet to the sea. Nevertheless, work went ahead.
Then began the bitter fighting.
Two-hundred Portuguese Commandos were flown in to an airstrip in the Cabora-Bassa area to counter-act freedom fighters. The attacks represented a crucial development in the struggle to control the rural areas of Mozambique. The Frelimo forces, battling against incredible odds, stated that stopping the dam project remained their prime aim.
There are 60,000 Portuguese troops in Mozambique. Their aim is to crush the insurgents. They claim considerable success - but the helicopters carrying out wounded Portuguese soldiers bore testimony to the cost in human terms. Meanwhile, the fight goes on.
While the racial policy of South African was abhorrent to most African nations one leader decided to take his own stand on how to deal with the implementers of apartheid. President Kamuzu Banda welcomed South African Prime Minister John Vorster to Malawi. The meeting was described as a "dastardly act" by one African politician. The subject matter of the talks was secret. However, shortly after the meeting Dr. Banda went to London where he was questioned about the talks and his aims.
Though President Banda did not, as he said, believe in the politics of isolation and boycott, most of the world did in so far as rebel Rhodesia was concerned. Yet on March 1st, the new Republic of Rhodesia was officially established with the signing of a proclamation by Mr. Clifford Du Pont, the officer administering the Government. Finally and formally all links with the British Crown were severed. Mr. Smith's apartheid-style constitution gave the Whites indefinite supremacy over African Rhodesians. As the year closed, it appeared that British was still prepared to try and negotiate a settlement with the illegal regime.
On a happier political note, in Ghana, Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo was sworn in as civilian President of the Second Republic
If there was any particular theme of especial significance in Africa during 1970 it was expansion. Work progressed rapidly on the construction of new deepwater berths in Dar-es-Salaam harbour. The berths were being built in Tanzania to cope with considerably increased traffic to and from Zambia, Rwanda and Burundi. The harbour work is directly linked to the construction of the Chinese-financed Tanzam Railway.
Copper, of course, is the main consideration in the exciting expansion scheme. The railway will enable Zambia to move its valuable export mineral without reliance on roads or traditional routes through white-ruled South African countries. Much of the copper is now being shipped to the People's Republic of China in vessels which bring in equipment for construction of the new rail link. About 3,000 Chinese technical experts are helping build the 169 million sterling railway. The money is being loaned interest free by China. It is the largest overseas aid project ever undertaken by China.
In October the Tanzam railway projects was inaugurated in Dar-es-Salaam. President Kaunda of Zambia and President Nyerere of Tanzania were present at the historic event. President Kaunda laid the foundation stone of the 1056 mile (1680 kms) railway. Later, in a speech, the Zambian President praised the Peking Government for their assistance. "The Chinese people are our friends, and they will remain so as long as it is to the benefit of or respective peoples," he said. So the Chinese mechanical equipment officially roared into life to clear a path for a permanent way that will bring prosperity through international co-operation.
One of the great moments of sport during the year came at the Commonwealth Games. Not even the troubles which had beset the events at Edinburgh could detract from Kipchoge Keino's fabulous record-breaking win in the 1,500 metres. The Kenyan runner scorched home in a new Games record time of three minutes, 36.6 seconds. (Pause until 406 feet). The threat of a Games boycott by African athletes in protest against a possible sale of arms to South Africa had been allayed, but the trouble were far from over.
The British anti-Apartheid movement were incensed about the possible resumption of arms sales to South African by the British Government.
A deputation led by two leading British clergy, Lord Soper and Dr. Trevor Huddleston, called on Prime Minister Edward Heath with a letter asking that a total arms embargo should be enforced against South Africa. There was much anger in Africa with Britain's new Conservative Government over the arms deal situation. In Lusaka the anger manifested itself in two large-scale demonstrations during one week at the British High Commission.
Anti-British feeling ran high. On several occasions the young demonstrators broke through police cordons.
The question of apartheid, linked with arms sales to South Africa, became the biggest issue of Africa in 1970. It was a point of considerable importance on the agenda when President Joseph Mobutu of Congo-Kinshasa visited the United States. President Mobutu was the first African Head of State to go to Washington during last year. He had talks with President Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers on wide ranging subjects. The burning issue, however, was the U.N. embargo of arms sales to South Africa.
The resolute campaign against racial injustice rapidly gained impetus. The Zambian capital was the scene of the third and largest Non-Aligned Summit meeting. More than 60 nations were represented at the talks, which were aimed at reaching an agreement on the future role of a "Third World" independent of the major power blocs. The conference represented the interest of 1,000 million under-privileged people -- about one third of the World's population. Here again, the question of white minority rule in South Africa coupled with the arms sales issue, dominated much of the discussion. President Kaunda chaired the conference, at which he was entrusted with the task of dissuading Western nations from supporting white minority Governments. "We cannot fail", he said, "for the consequence of failure is the domination by the more powerful who, in the past, have always sought to make decisions for us and manipulate the course of human history." The President closed the conference by leading the singing of a revolutionary song.
So began the diplomatic battle to try to prevent Britain from going ahead with arms sales. The British Prime Minister received many African Heads of State and leading parliamentarians at his official London residence. Dr. Kofi Busia of Ghana was amongst the most outspoken of Mr. Heath's visitors. He said that if Britain sold arms to South Africa she'd jeopardise the future of the Commonwealth. There were many British supporters of the African cause. But by far the most forthright of the African leaders was President Kaunda who said Britain should be "sacked out of the Commonwealth". Despite Mr. Heath's assurances that there was nothing racial in British policy, President Kaunda went to the United Nations in a determined mood.
As if to point the troubled times came the sudden shock death of President Nasser. The leader of the United Arab Republic was the victim of a heart attack - his death came at the most crucial time in Middle East history. Scenes of anguish and mourning at his funeral were such as had rarely been seen before. Many African and other world leaders were present on the sad occasion.
The new leader of the UAR was President Anwar Sadat. It was he, General Jaafar El-Nimeiry and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who decided to form a federation linking the U.A.R. Libya and Sudan. Also present at the significant meeting was Palestine guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat. Shortly after the formation of the triumvirate, Syria announced that it would work towards linking up with them. The three founder countries considered they were historically and geographically suited to form a nucleus for unity.
History and unity were self evident in Ethiopia at the beginning of November when thousands of people converged on Addis Ababa from all over the country to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Coronation of the Lion of Judah, Emperor Haile Selassie. Hundreds of diplomats and state representatives from all over the world attended the great celebration.
Young Africa's progress was reviewed at a party congress headed by President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast. So Said M. Mamadou Coulibaly, President of the Ivory Coast Economic and Social Council at the Democratic Party's Fifth Congress. They were words which reflect the tremendous growth of not only the Ivory Coast, but of all the young, rapidly developing countries of Africa; countries expanding on an international scale whose cities are host to the peoples of the world.
Vacationers, businessmen - Africa is now very much on the map for them all. Fine hotels welcome them. A decade has seen remarkable progress.
Harbours are the magnets for ships of all nations, bringing their cargoes and taking away the much-in-demand produce of the new Africa - the increased produce of rapid progress and expansion. Foreign investment in Africa has grown at an astonishing rate - yet another indication of the confidence and esteem with which the Third World is regarded.
Progress, and more progress. Tall, modern new buildings, examples of the constant striving for greater achievement. The new decades had ushered in a time of hope, development and unified strength. Africa, more than ever before, was a proud continent of proud peoples.
From small beginnings and ways rooted in tradition, Africa strode ahead boldly into the world of self-determination, expansion, commerce and technology to take her rightful place among the nations whose voices speak with authority. As if to herald the start of a new decade of African brotherhood and progress, the probing dish of East Africa's new Satellite Receiving Station in Kenya, points towards the sky, a symbol of man's most modern technology set amidst teeming wild-life and the traditional villages of proud tribesmen. The Longonot Satellite Receiving Station provide direct links to an area extending from Britain in the West to Japan in the East, utilising the Indian Ocean Satellite hovering in space above the equator.
The world is in touch with Africa, and the Africa of the 1970's is very much in touch with the world.